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Halva Stracciatella Ice Cream

Halva Stracciatella Ice Cream Related:   desserts & sweets, gluten-free, Israel & Middle East, July 4th, kid-friendly, Shavuot, vegetarian

Prep time: 15-20 mins + overnight refrigeration + overnight freezing

Cook time: 15-20 mins

Yield: 1 quart

Two years ago, I turned up my nose at the sound of this new (to me) trend in Israel of halva ice cream. Later, once the idea simmered, I realized that tahini ice cream is not so far fetched given that one of my favorite childhood sweets, halva, is made with the same sesame paste. I played around with making halva ice cream, and even ventured into making tahini and halva from scratch. Inspired by the sandwich I sometimes had as a child, I ended up making a tahini custard base and adding chocolate bits and shredded halva “hairs”—also a nod to chocolate swirl halva. The final halva stracciatella ice cream was also inspired by an ice cream dessert I recently tried at Rose’s Luxury in DC. Stracciatella means “little rags/bits” in Italian and really captures the essence of the chocolate bits seamlessly mixed in. I think I have made my peace with the halva ice cream trend.


  • 1½ cups whole milk (can use lower fat)
  • ¾ cup sugar (can reduce to ½ cup depending on taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 generous tablespoons tahini
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 ounces halva, shredded by hand into small pieces
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  • Add the milk, sugar and vanilla to a medium saucepan and mix. On medium-low heat, let the sugar dissolve while stirring occasionally. Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl. Continue cooking until small bubbles appear at the edges of the pan. At that point, pour a couple tablespoons of the warmed milk into the egg yolks while whisking to temper egg yolks and prevent scrambling. Add the yolk-milk mixture back to the saucepan and continue whisking on medium-low heat until slightly thickened and a light custard has formed. This process may take up to 10 minutes. At this point, remove custard from heat and let it cool. Refrigerate overnight.
  • The following day, strain the custard base. Using a spatula, fold tahini into custard base. Add the whipping cream and shredded halva and mix. Churn in an ice cream maker per manufacturer's instructions until a soft-serve consistency is reached.
  • Stir chocolate bits into the ice cream and scoop into a container with a lid. Freeze for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight, before serving.

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